Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Future on display at High School Home Run Derby

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

Home run derbies have become almost a de rigeur part of baseball events, at every level. On the amateur front, they serve as an interesting way to measure raw power, though scouts don't put too much weight into one strong or lackluster performance.

Home run derbies have become almost a de rigeur part of baseball events, at every level. On the amateur front, they serve as an interesting way to measure raw power, though scouts don't put too much weight into one strong or lackluster performance.

:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::

But the sixth edition of the High School Home Run Derby, which takes place at Nationals Park and will be streamed live on MLB.com on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, does have a pretty good track record of predicting early picks of future Drafts and highly-ranked prospects.

Watch live at 11 a.m. ET

Jake Gatewood, now the Brewers' No. 17 prospect, put the event on the map back in 2013 when he put on a show in front of all of the big league All-Stars. Not only do these high school participants get to take their hacks on Sunday morning in a big league ballpark, but the finalists get to go on to swing for the fences some more during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday night.

In 2014, Luken Baker and Josh Naylor were the finalists. Baker went on to TCU and was the 75th overall pick in this past June's Draft despite injuries. Naylor was the Marlins' top pick (No. 12) overall in 2015 and is now the Padres' No. 14 prospect. The 2015 derby starred Will Benson, the Indians' No. 8 prospect, and Joey Wentz, now a pitcher ranked No. 9 in the Braves' system. Royce Lewis, Hunter Greene and Jo Adell -- the Nos. 1, 2 and 10 picks of the 2017 Draft -- took their hacks in the '16 Derby. Now Greene and Adell are reuniting as Futures Game participants taking the field on Sunday afternoon.

Tweet from @joadell25: Let���s do this thing brother! Two years ago we were watching, now were in it! 🙌🇺��� https://t.co/XWwxSjv7Vl

Not to be outdone, last year's event featured 2018 first-round picks Jarred Kelenic, Triston Casas, Nolan Gorman and Noah Naylor, Josh's younger brother. So it goes without saying that this year's derby is a must-watch if fans want to see what the future of baseball looks like.

Here is this year's field:

Hunter Barco, 1B, The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.): Like Wentz and Greene before him, Barco will likely take his first professional steps as a pitcher. But that doesn't mean the big 6-foot-4 lefty committed to Florida doesn't have some serious pop with good bat speed.

Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (Neptune Beach, Fla.): Another solid left-handed hitter, Callihan consistently barreled up the ball during USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars, with a swing that is short and quick to the ball. The South Carolina commit joins Barco on the 18U Trials roster.

Emanuel Dean, OF, Servite HS (Anaheim, Calif.): Dean participated in the Breakthrough Series held in Kansas City in June and will also head to an Elite Development Invitational later this summer. A two-sport standout (football), Dean has a high ceiling with some strength and bat speed from the right side.

Michael Dixon II, OF, Berkeley (Calif.) HS: A ultra-toolsy outfielder from Northern California, Dixon generates a ton of power from the right side of the plate with a short and compact stroke. The San Diego commit already has a ton of present strength to go along with that bat speed.

Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS (Oviedo, Fla.): Another member of USA Baseball's 18 and under trials squad, Greene already has built a reputation as perhaps the best pure high school bat in the Draft class of 2019. Like Barco, he's a Gators commit with a very smooth swing from the left side.

Video: Riley Greene throws out runner at the plate

Rece Hinds, SS/3B, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): Hinds was supposed to compete in last year's derby, but a minor ankle injury kept him from participating. He has as much raw power as anyone in the class and the LSU commit showed it off at the Tournament of Stars, homering twice in the event's final game en route to making the 18U trials team.

Video: BRAVE@UNITED: Rece Hinds knocks a grand slam

Hayden Travinski, C, Airline HS (Shreveport, La.): One of the better catching prospects in the class, Travinski is committed to LSU. The big, strong right-handed hitter showed off his pop by going deep at Perfect Game National early in the summer showcase circuit schedule.

Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville (Texas) HS: The son of the former big league pitcher, Witt Jr. is generally considered to be the top talent overerall in this year's Draft class. Committed to Oklahoma, he has all the tools in the box. He might be hit over power, but he certainly knows how to drive the ball.

Video: FREE@PRIDE: Bobby Witt Jr. makes a diving stop

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.